The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

Specialist advice TECH


Providing authoritative, professional advice and direction in a specialist area.

SFIA 9 is in development

  • SFIA 9 beta due in early July 2024
  • SFIA 9 planned for publication October 2024

This is a prototype for SFIA 9. It is subject to change before publication.

Guidance notes


This skill entails developing and using specialist knowledge to offer authoritative advice and direction, distinct from general guidance or troubleshooting.

Professional advice is the provision of expert, objective, and evidence-based recommendations, guidance, and solutions to address specific challenges or opportunities, drawing upon the advisor's in-depth knowledge, skills, and experience. 

Expertise may cover a particular aspect of information or communications technology, digital practices, methodologies, or application areas, and can extend to applying knowledge from other disciplines—such as legal, finance, public relations, ethics or human resources—to technology-related topics.

Activities include — but are not limited to:

  • research and analysis to stay current with the latest developments in the specialist area
  • providing subject matter expert advice and recommendations based on thorough understanding of the subject
  • collaborating with other specialists to ensure comprehensive and cohesive advice
  • clearly communicating complex information to non-experts
  • creating guidelines, standards, and best practices related to the specialist area
  • providing mentorship and guidance to support the development of specialist knowledge within the organisation


Defined at these levels: 4 5 6

Specialist advice: Levels 1-3

This skill is not typically observed when working at these levels of responsibility.

Specialist advice: Level 4


Provides detailed and specific advice to support the organisation's planning and operations, typically related to the immediate area of responsibility.

Actively maintains recognised expert level knowledge in one or more identifiable specialisms.

Recognises and identifies the boundaries of their own specialist knowledge.

Where appropriate, collaborates with other specialists to ensure advice given is professionally sound and appropriate to the organisation's needs.

Specialist advice: Level 5


Provides professional advice that informs operational leadership and influences the translation of strategy into operations in their specialist area.

Oversees the provision of specialist advice by others. Consolidates expertise from multiple sources, including third-party experts, to provide coherent and professionally sound advice to further organisational objectives.

Supports and promotes the development and sharing of specialist knowledge within the organisation.

Specialist advice: Level 6


Leads and promotes the development and application of specialist knowledge across the organisation, delivering professional advice that shapes direction and high-level decisions.

Maintains a network of recognised experts (inside and/or outside the organisation) who can deliver expert advice in relevant areas.

Actively influences professional development planning across a significant part of the organisation to further the development of appropriate expertise and provision of high-quality professional advice.

Specialist advice: Level 7

This skill is not typically observed when working at this level of responsibility.